international streaming

Looks Like Netflix Is Pausing Its Russian Originals

Illustration: Martin Gee

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is increasingly turning it into a nation non grata among the global entertainment community. Netflix has placed a pause on all Russian original projects and acquisitions, a source has confirmed to Vulture. The move affects four Russian-language original titles in varying stages of production and post-production and follows similar steps taken by major studios and tech companies reacting to the Russian military’s aggression against its neighbor in Eastern Europe. Disney, Sony, Universal, and other studios have halted theatrical releases, while a raft of other cultural institutions have banned Russian art or media in some shape or form.

Netflix’s business in Russia is relatively new, having launched locally last year. Its original titles in the works included Anna K, an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina which had wrapped filming; Nothing Special, a feel-good drama following “a young actor Lyokha and his volunteer work” for people with disabilities that had wrapped production; a crime thriller called Zato directed by Darya Zhuk, which paused mid-filming; and an untitled project, which also had to halt filming. Variety was first to the news of the pause on productions. Earlier this week, Netflix refused to comply with a Russian law requiring that the service carry state propaganda channels.

Looks Like Netflix Is Pausing Its Russian Original Series